August 23: Fenty promises to change
Today’s Event: Mayor Adrian Fenty embarks on a contrition tour, calling and visiting with former supporters, asking for their forgiveness for ignoring them in favor of his go-it-alone approach to governing. After a recent poll showed the incumbent losing to Vincent Gray, I guess he decided he had to start apologizing for shit. It feels like a drastic shift for a man who loves telling voters that he won’t tell them what they want to hear. Now he wants to hug it out with that ANC commissioner who didn’t get a returned phone call?
Influence: Slight. I haven’t gotten my Fenty visit. I live in Ward 4 and am very openly undecided. His administration hasn’t returned my phone calls, FOIA requests, and e-mails filled with softball questions. I’m also very white. I’m starting to feel dissed all over again. The mayor’s new strategy raises all sorts of thorny questions: What happens if you don’t get some one-on-one time with the mayor? Should you feel doubly spurned? What if the mayor does come to your door and you don’t offer him Muscle Milk? Is he allergic to cats? What if he starts begging for your vote? What if he shows up during Top Chef?
Net impact: Back to neutral.
But: If the shift to promises of inclusion seems a bit put-on, it also can’t have been easy for him. Which either makes Fenty look like a stronger person or a bigger jerk, depending on how you look at these things.